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There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

some companies will go further
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:54 am EST, Jan  5, 2016

Robert Muggah:

Post-Paris, the sense of unease is pervasive.

Technology firms are lining up from Baghdad to Boston to equip city authorities with the software and skills to disrupt terrorism. Today there are more than 75 data fusion centres in major US cities ...

French railway authorities are planning to roll out up to 40,000 new security cameras that can monitor excessive body temperature and signs of anxiety, in the somewhat Orwellian hopes of identifying thought crimes before anyone gets killed.

Michael Dell:

I think this is where the next trillion dollars comes from ...

Bence Olveczky:

As with any sharp tool, you have to be careful how you use it. The sharper it is, the more careful you have to be.

The Economist:

Every employee will be monitored every second; every keystroke and click will be tracked and analysed. Some companies will go further and get white-collar workers to wear sensors that track all movements and measure their tone of voice and the number of steps they take. Whatever they get up to, they will be watched by Big Brother.

There is no sign that Big Brother will make better judgments about human employees than its human predecessors. Humans did an indifferent job, but at least when individual managers did an egregiously bad one they usually got fired. Firing systems will be a lot harder.

a matter of salesmanship
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:49 am EST, Jan  5, 2016

Quassim Cassam:

Our desire to think well of ourselves is one among many obstacles to self-knowledge. Anyway, what's so great about being true to yourself? Doesn't it depend on the kind of person you are?


In much wisdom is much grief, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Cass Sunstein:

If self-interested people want to show that they are independent, their best strategy is to be politically incorrect, and to proclaim loudly that's what they are being. The trick is that this strategy has nothing at all to do with genuine independence; it's just a matter of salesmanship, a way to get more popular.

If a politician makes some outrageous statement, and follows it with a suggestion that he deplores political correctness, you might well conclude that you can trust what he says. Whatever else they are, those who make outrageous statements seem honest and real rather than programmed or scripted. That's what a lot of voters are demanding.

But there is a sham here, and it's ironic. The very Republicans who proclaim their rejection of political correctness have committed themselves to a host of policy judgments that are, in their circles, politically correct. Those judgments help define the prevailing orthodoxy. If you want to survive, you had better not question any of them.

Anjum Altaf:


What myth is it
That keeps you
Amongst yourselves
That keeps you
To your strength

a tectonic shift
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:36 pm EST, Jan  2, 2016

Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade, in September:

The top tier of the information security industry has undergone a tectonic shift. Information security researchers are increasingly involved in investigating state-sponsored or geopolitically significant threats. As a result, the affable and community-friendly information security researcher has become the misunderstood and often imperilled intelligence broker. Both individual researchers and top-tier infosec firms face drastic changes in embodying their new role as intelligence brokers. As this new playing field comes into clear view, so will the perils and ethical conundrums that are its permanent features. In the face of investigations with geopolitical weight and consequences, whose final attributions entail unmasking nation-state operations, even the most capable security researcher among us will need drastic preparations, not only to excel but to survive.

Alex Stamos, in October:

Starting today, we will notify you if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state. To protect the integrity of our methods and processes, we often won't be able to explain how we attribute certain attacks to suspected attackers. That said, we plan to use this warning only in situations where the evidence strongly supports our conclusion.

David Sanger, in November:

Over the past month, Iranian hackers identified individual State Department officials who focus on Iran and the Middle East, and broke into their email and social media accounts, according to diplomatic and law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation. The State Department became aware of the compromises only after Facebook told the victims that state-sponsored hackers had compromised their accounts.

Don Clark, in December:

Microsoft said it plans to begin informing users of its online email and file-storage services if it suspects attackers associated with government agencies have tried to break into their accounts.

the real monster | A Noteworthy Year
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:08 am EST, Dec 30, 2015

James Fallows:

The "easy" part of dealing with ISIS is agreeing on its horror. The difficult part is thinking ahead five steps, about what the use of military power can and cannot do.

Mark Danner:

We know where we came from, and we know where we are. We do not yet know how to get back.

Elizabeth D. Samet:

My West Point cadets are wondering whether they have what it takes to be lieutenants, while I'm thinking about what kinds of generals they might make.

David Cole:

James Comey and Robert Hannigan have ... called for public debate on terrorism and technology. It is disappointing, if not surprising, that they see a need for public debate only when new technologies may impair their ability to monitor us, and not when such technologies enhance their monitoring.

Ta-Nehisi Coates:

Power, decoupled from responsibility, is what we seek. The citizen who needs to look away generally finds a reason.

Werner Herzog:

Get used to the bear behind you.

Robin Sloan:

I wear my own skin and it fights me every day.

Mallory Ortberg:

The real monster is society.

the quality of your life's experience | A Noteworthy Year
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:00 am EST, Dec 29, 2015

Martha Raddatz:

As you choose opportunities and ideas, the people you work with, and those you choose to love, those who animate, inspire and energize you will define the quality of your life's experience. Do not waste your time with people who do not help bring out the best in you.

David Brooks:

A person of character is committed to tasks that can't be completed in a single lifetime.

Hofstadter's Law:

It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

Alastair Humphreys:

You must be willing to accept that things do not come about instantly. Too many people set the cart before the horse, seeking the honour and recognition but without first completing the hazardous journey on low wages in the bitter cold through long hours of complete darkness.

A Burmese road sign:

Life is a Journey. Complete it.

Andrew Sullivan:

Some things are worth cherishing precisely because they are finite. It isn't how long you live that matters. What matters is what you do when you're alive.

Andrew Bosworth:

Being kind turns out to be a long term strategy for maximizing impact.

if it's one thing, it's not another | A Noteworthy Year
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:58 am EST, Dec 29, 2015

Scott Long:

Solidarity is hard because it isn't about imaginary identifications, it's about struggling across the canyon of not being someone else ...

Steve Jobs:

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.


It's just, do what you want to.

Mr. Money Mustache:

The good life is all about plenty of hard work doing stuff you love to do.

Penelope Trunk:

The thing that gets you past the career plateau of a high-performer is a big idea.

David Goldberg:

Sometimes the things you decide not to do are actually the biggest things to do in your career.

Jan Chipchase:

The money you turn down defines you as much as the work you take on.

Sam Altman:

Don't let yourself make excuses for not doing the things you want to do.

Ben Casnocha:

Every decision has tradeoffs: when you choose to do one thing it means you choose not to do some other thing.

Mark Manson:

In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference.

all fear, all the time | A Noteworthy Year
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:04 am EST, Dec 28, 2015

John Boehner:

We live in a dangerous country, and we get reminded every week of the dangers that are out there.

Diego Gambetta:

A threat does not now need to manifest itself or even be proven imminent to motivate a war. This approach ... is an intentional way of framing the situation and turning it into a political strategy.

danah boyd:

I feel like I am at constant war with my own brain over the dynamics of fear.

Jelani Cobb:

We increasingly glance at one another through a veil of suspicion, doubt and fear. The problem is not technology. It is, as it always was, us.

Thomas Fuentes:

'Keep Fear Alive.' Keep it alive.

Brandon Valeriano and Ryan C. Maness:

Fear is the result of imagined consequences.

Timothy Egan:

Life is full of risk. [And] the fear-industrial complex continues to dominate national priorities. Some politicians are all fear, all the time.

Lynn Parramore:

It's a good time to be in a fear-based industry.

Marilynne Robinson:

Fear operates as an appetite or an addiction. You can never be safe enough.

Azar Nafisi:

I don't fear the ordeal of freedom. I fear the moment when we stop thinking of freedom as an ordeal.

a national emergency | A Noteworthy Year
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:02 am EST, Dec 28, 2015

Barack Obama:

I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with [the cyber] threat.

Joseph M. Demarest Jr., assistant director of the FBI's cyberdivision:

We're fighting Ph.D.s on the other side of the world.

Steven Bellovin:

Remember, the United States has no monopoly on programmers.

Paul Graham:

It will always be true that most people who are great at anything are born outside the US.

Ariha Setalvad:

More than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfilled.

Virginia Lehmkuhl-Dakhwe:

The number of jobs in information security is going to grow tenfold in the next 10 years.


The inability to find skilled staff to grow security programs remains one of the key challenges for the industry. By contrast, criminal hacking teams seem to be fully staffed.

billions and billions | A Noteworthy Year
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:00 am EST, Dec 28, 2015

James Comey:

In 2010 there were 6.8 billion people on the earth and 12.5 billion devices connected to the Internet.

Brian Solis:

By 2020, the number of devices connected to the Internet is expected to exceed 40 billion.

Alex Stamos:

Companies across the world are waking up to the fact that their security posture is insufficient to fend off the threats ...

David Ulevitch:

Like it or not, every business is a security company now.

Benjamin Dean:

As we plough billions of dollars into intelligence agencies, supposedly to keep us all safe from 'cyber-attacks', it has the effect of further weakening the already low incentives for companies to invest in information security themselves.

Steven Bellovin:

We don't even have the right words.

Christopher Soghoian:

The reason why we don't have any serious proposals on the table that would improve cybersecurity, is because big companies don't actually want to be held accountable.

Bruce Schneier:

This isn't something the market can solve on its own ...

Alex Stamos:

In my dreams, I squint up at the flock of sales cyber vultures, "circling back" until I lose my will to resist their entreaties, or perhaps to live.

Danny Yadron:

To grow sales, FireEye's Dave DeWalt has to say he can stop the hackers. But for sales to keep growing, the hackers can't actually stop.

Jose Pagliery:

To scare potential clients, Tiversa would typically make up fake data breaches. Then it pressured firms to pay up.

John Prisco:

The reality is that cybersecurity is a corrupt industry that needs bad guys to stay lucrative.

the irresistible urge | A Noteworthy Year
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:22 am EST, Dec 27, 2015

David Cole:

We are in danger of seeing privacy go the way of the eight-track player. And that has immense consequences not only for our personal lives, but for the character of our country.

Martin Enserink and Gilbert Chin:

Privacy as we have known it is ending, and we're only beginning to fathom the consequences.


Every time you slip that phone into your pocket, you're making a deal with the carrier: you get to use it, but the company gets your data. All of your data: where you are, where you travel, where you shop, who you're with, where you sleep -- even who you sleep with.

Frank Chimero:

In pursuit of convenience, we have opened the door to unscrupulous influence.

Leigh Alexander:

Facebook is absolutely, indisputably creepy, a fungal colony of privacy violations fused helplessly to our human infrastructure.

Diana Kimball:

The urge to enrich the Database of Intentions is irresistible.

Natasha Lomas:

The obfuscated commercial collection of vast amounts of personal data in exchange for 'free' services is gradually being revealed for what it is: a heist of unprecedented scale.

Ron Amadeo:

The scale of YouTube gets more breathtaking every year. 12 days of video are uploaded to the site every minute -- that's almost 50 years of video every day.

Virginia Eubanks:

Decision-making algorithms are a form of politics played out at a distance, generating a troubling amount of emotional remove.

Georgia Tech:

The privacy tug-of-war between individuals and organizations has become a tug with no war.

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